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Study guide for exam 1 history of anthropological thought

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Study Guide for Exam 1 -- History of Anthropological Thought
• Auguste Comte
- Father of Positivism, founding father of sociology
- Branches of knowledge, 3 stages. Theological, metaphysical, and positive
- Felt natural sciences had already passed through these stages social sciences had not
- Comte argued: science involved search for generalizations
- “Social dynamics” (physics) generalizations about social change
- “Social Statics” (physics) generalizations about social stability
• Max Weber
- Credited with viewing the holistic individual - acting, thinking, feeling, as central to the
creation, maintenance, and innovation of social/cultural forms
- Often thought of as idealistic or ideational and contrasted with Marx materialism
- Sought a theory that placed existing beliefs and structures in particular historical
contexts
- Often thought as a multi-evolutionist, whose theory accounts for great diversity of human
life but does not rank it according to eurocentric scale of norms and values
- Key contributions
- That of expectation, what is as opposed to what should be) is embodied and
expressed through an explicitly religious framework
- Religion is the engine that drives social transformation through time
- “Inner-world asceticism is the central disposition involved in this process - as it
entails removing oneself from corrupt worldly indulgences while remaining within
the world of human activity”
• Emile Durkheim
- 19th century french sociologist
- Publication
- Division of labor in society (1893): diversification and integration of culture, two
integrative patterns
- 1: “primitive”, less diversified (little division of labor) - cohered because
individuals were “similar”
- 2: “civilized”, more diversified (considerable division of labor) - cohered
because individuals were “different”
- Mechanical solidarity vs. organic solidarity: argued government was
needed to regulate socially interdependent parts because society was
more organic
- The elementary forms of religious life (1912)
- To expose the social origins of religious (social origin)
- Experience of effervescence” when interacting with others (Joel Osteen)
- Totems - embodied effervescent sensations, thus, powerful
representations that print powerful sentiments to the surface of
consciousness even in absence of ritual

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• Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- “Discourse on the origin and basis of inequality among men” (1755)
- Emphasized human pathos and emotion
- Noble savagery was a condition that had been lost: “social contract” (1762) -
humanity had been happier in the past
- Ethnographic observation of natives as model for past “savages”
• Leonardo da Vinci
- “Renaissance Man” - humanism, early studies of human anatomy
- Renaissance was beginning of classical archaeology, use of artifacts to supplement
what was written in classical texts
• Christian Thomsen
Wrote “Guide to Northern Antiquities (1836)
three age system (Stone Age → Bronze Age --> Iron Age)
Studied artifacts
• Sigmund Freud
- Researched cerebral palsy, aphasia, and micro neuroanatomy
- Founding father of psychoanalysis
- Anthropology: interest in the origin of “disorders” within humanity
- Emphasis on study of dream and mental subconscious (mostly sexual)
- Key contributions
- Conflict in present - because of conflict in humanities past - books: totem and
taboo (1918); the future of an illusion (1928); and civilization and its discontents
(1930)
- Subconscious
- Id (libido): the source of desire/ animalistic part of human nature with
appetites and desires
- Ego (“I”): experiences outside the world
- Super ego (conscious): monitors the id and meitated between the ego
and social norms
• Ferdinand de Saussure (1857 - 1913)
- One of the most important precursors to 20th century linguistic and cultural
anthropology
- Focused on “what is language” rather than temporal interrelatedness and reconstruction
- Proposed that language is a system of signs - speech communication ideas
- Sign made up of two distinct elements
- Signifier: that which communicates meaning
- The signified: the concept communicated by the signifier
- Emphasized “systematic” quality of language
- Signs: not fixed and stable, endlessly shifting, creating new meanings and new social
contexts
• Leslie White
- culturology : “the science of culture and “the evolution of culture”
- Cultural evolution, sociocultrual evolution, neoevolution
- Energy x technology→ culture produced

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Study Guide for Exam 1 -- History of Anthropological Thought • Auguste Comte - Father of Positivism, founding father of sociology - Branches of knowledge, 3 stages. Theological, metaphysical, and positive - Felt natural sciences had already passed through these stages – social sciences had not - Comte argued: science involved search for generalizations - “Social dynamics” (physics) generalizations about social change - “Social Statics” (physics) generalizations about social stability • Max Weber - Credited with viewing the holistic individual - acting, thinking, feeling, as central to the creation, maintenance, and innovation of social/cultural forms - Often thought of as idealistic or ideational and contrasted with Marx materialism - Sought a theory that placed existing beliefs and structures in particular historical contexts - Often thought as a multi-evolutionist, whose theory accounts for great diversity of human life but does not rank it according to eurocentric scale of norms and values - Key contributions - That of expectation, what is as opposed to what should be) is embodied and expressed through an explicitly religious framework - Religion is the engine that drives social transformation through time - “Inner-world asceticism is the central disposition involved in this process - as it entails removing oneself from corrupt worldly indulgences while remaining within the world of human activity” • Emile Durkheim - 19th century french sociologist - Pu ...
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